One of my friends has found a big supply of babbitt metal. Does that metal make good bullets? What is the average Brinnell rating for such bullets? Can we alloy it to wheelweights or is it better to keep it straight?
There's dozen's of babbitts out there and it's which one do I have? You probably can make good bullets out of it, but you may have to experiment a bit. Check out this Canadian supplier of babbitts and bullet metal. They show the composition of 21 different babbitts. Wish I was closer to them. Shipping $$, you know. http://www.alchemycastings.com/
I've been using two different babbit metals in my 375 Whelen. For lack of a better discription there's the 'red' babbit and the 'blue' babbit. This refers to the color of silver, of the bullet. The 'red' babbit makes a silver bullet with a red cast and the 'blue'........................
Both babbits will ring like a bell when rapped with a screwdriver handle. Both are hard as taxman's heart and cast beautiful bullets. The 'Red' babbit is the harder of the two. The red metal will throw a Lyman 270 grain 375 bullet that actually weighs a bit under 250 grains.
I've diluted the babbit metal with wheel weights, 50/50, got a 260 grain bullet, still beautiful, hard as the dickens and accurate.
From the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook, page 50.
"In most antimonial alloys, arsenic ranges from 0.05 to 0.5%; the typical concentration in wheel weights is about 0.17%. At these concentrations, the arsenic is no more a toxic hazard than the antimony and its presence permits wheel weights and other such alloys to be heat treated to 30BHN or more."
As I understand it, arsenic is more toxic than antimony, but at the low concentrations in bullet metal compared to the 3-11% level of antimony in typical alloys, it isn't a problem. That is, if you have adequate ventilation for the other fumes. If you smell garlic, or taste it in the back of your mouth, get some fresh air, fast. Note that only one of the listed babbitts is over 0.6% antimony, at 1.4%.
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